- Title: Belarusian athlete applies for visa to enter Poland after refusing to go home
- Date: 2nd August 2021
- Summary: CISNA, POLAND (AUGUST 2, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLISH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, MARCIN PRZYDACZ, SAYING: "She (Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya) was offered by us (Poland) a humanitarian visa and she already applied for that visa. Sheâ€™s at this moment at the Polish embassy (in Tokyo). So, the procedures are ongoing." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLISH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, MARCIN PRZYDACZ, SAYING: "The first step is to give her a humanitarian visa, then when she - that would be her decision â€“ (decides) to apply for an asylum or international protection, then we will start the whole procedure. But at this very moment, she is at the Polish embassy, safe, and in a quite good condition. Although the whole situation of course had a quite negative footprint on her." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLISH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, MARCIN PRZYDACZ, SAYING: "According to her decision, thatâ€™s what our consul heard in Tokyo, sheâ€™s planning to come to Poland in days to come to be here in Warsaw. And if she would only like, of course she can continue, she is free, to pursue her sporting career in Poland. But that would be her decision." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLISH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, MARCIN PRZYDACZ, SAYING: "Well, the Polish embassy is well protected in Tokyo. Our diplomats are not only in a good contact with Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, with the Belarusian people there, but also with the Japanese government who was protecting her. And also the Japanese police is involved in this. So, the Polish embassy is very well protected."
- Embargoed: 16th August 2021 12:40
- Keywords: Belarus Belarusian sprinter Belarusian sprinter refusing to board flight Krystsina Tsimanouskaya Poland Polish embassy in Tokyo Tokyo
- Location: CISNA, POLAND / INTERNET
- City: CISNA, POLAND / INTERNET
- Country: Belarus
- Topics: Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EOL87D3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has applied for a humanitarian visa and is planning to leave for Poland in the coming days, a Polish deputy foreign minister said on Monday (August 2), a day after the athlete refused to board a flight at a Tokyo airport that she said she was taken to against her wishes by her team.
"She was offered by us a humanitarian visa and she already applied for that visa," Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz told Reuters.
She is "safe and in good condition" after walking into the Polish embassy on Monday morning, Przydacz added.
Tsimanouskaya, 24, had been due to compete in the women's 200 metre heats on Monday but she said that on Sunday (August 1) she was taken to the airport to board a Turkish Airlines flight.
She then took refuge at the Polish embassy and is currently planning on flying to Warsaw in the coming days, according to the Polish official.
Przydacz said Tsimanouskaya would be free to pursue her sporting career in Poland if she chose to.
The incident during the Olympic Games has focused renewed attention on the political discord in Belarus, a former Soviet state that is run by President Alexander Lukashenko.
Police there have cracked down on dissent following a wave of protests triggered by an election last year which the opposition says was rigged to keep him in power.
(Production: Alan Charlish, Karolina Bohacova)
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